Key to images
1. c1910 - The licence was held by Edwin Childs. The woman is holding two calves, possibly strays from the cattle market. The front of the pub faced east (toward Upton).
2. c1910 - from left - behind the wall is Greasby Hall farm; the Manor; the New Inn; the Childs family's garden; the notice board for the cattle market.
3. c1950 - the rear and side walls of the pub. The lane (left) going past the outbuildings leads to the Homestead and then becomes a footpath to Saughall Massie.
4. 1964 - The outbuildings of the Red Cat are being built, and are only about 10 metres away from the New Inn. There is a noticeable difference in land height between the two premises.
5. 1964 - Taken from the roof of one of the Red Cat outbuildings, showing the proximity of the two premises.
6. 1964 - Taken from outside "The Favourite" sweetshop. On the left, the New Inn. On the right, The Red Cat. The view of the centre is deceptive due to the low height of the Red Cat outbuildings and the tall height of the barn, behind. The two pub buildings are actually only about ten metres apart.
7. 2006 - Taken from the same position as photo number 6. The loss of the New Inn means that the Manor buildings can now be seen.
8. The licence board has been kept by the Childs family.
9. The bell for 'last orders' is another family keepsake.
Photos 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, & 9 kindly provided by Ben Childs.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
It is not known when the New Inn began in business, but it was already established by the time of the 1849 tithe map. The cluster of buildings in the area around the pub included a function hall and a cattle market. The lane to Homestead farm (leading to the path to Saughall Massie) started behind the pub. That lane was known locally as Pullen's Lane.
The record of licensees is incomplete, the known ones are -
1860 Joseph Broster
1871 Thomas Woodfine (previously licensee at the Coach & Horses; died 1882)
1881 Eliza Woodfine (who died in 1902)
1902 Charles James
Harold Stewart ('Stu') Childs
Little is known of the earlier occupants, but information is known of the time that the Childs family held the licence.
Edwin Childs and his wife Elsie (nee Gwilt, born 1884) and Edwin's children Doris and Alan, moved to the New Inn from Shropshire in the early 1900s. Edwin had a farming background, also a history of beer brewing and of living in a pub. They had four children, all born inside the New Inn -
Harold Stewart ('Stu') born 1913, died 1968
Marjorie born 1915, died 1998
Elsie ('Micky') born 1918, died 2005
Phyllis born 1920, died 1960
The family's Greasby activities included more than just running the pub; they had an involvement in the nearby cattle market business, and they kept pigs and cows. They had a building with a function hall adjacent to the pub, for dances, stage productions, etc. For periods the building was used by the Home Guard and by the RAF West Kirby base, possibly as a classroom. The fields in front and at the rear of the pub were part of the family holding.
Harold Stewart Childs was known to everyone as Stu or Stewie. When young, he had a tuberculosis hip and spent his youth living in a wooden summerhouse in the garden of the pub - even in winter. Fresh air was part of the treatment for TB at that time (in 1914 an open-air TB hospital was opened at Leasowe). Stu had received a leg injury playing rugby at Birkenhead Park School and the bone became diseased. This necessitated extremely painful treatment, gave him years of problems and left him with a lifetime limp. Stu eventually followed his father to become licensee of the New Inn. He married Edna Buckley in 1938. Stu and Edna had three children, Jacqueline, Peter Stewart (who died aged 6 months) and Peter Edwin born 1950. Peter was involved in a motor accident at the age of five and lost his right leg. This did not subdue his spirit and he was featured in the local press driving cars on the family's fields - aged ten! Peter married Elizabeth Gill and they had a son, Ben. Peter passed away in 2002, aged 52.
The New Inn closed in 1964 after being in business at least 120 years. It was replaced by the Red Cat which was built in 1964 approximately 10 metres from the New Inn. For a short time the two buildings stood side-by-side. The site of the cattle market, which had closed in 1936, became the pub car park. The Red Cat was renamed the Cat c1997, and again renamed the Red Cat in March 2006. The lane to Saughall Massie is now only a footpath (the lane was still passable by vehicle - probably illegally - in 1990 along the section between Greasby Road and Frankby Road).